Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando County Administrator David Hamilton applies for job in Sarasota County

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Administrator David Hamilton submitted his application for the administrator's job in Sarasota County on Friday, the deadline for applicants.

In response, one Hernando commissioner said it may be time to seek a replacement for Hamilton.

Hamilton, 62, called the Sarasota job "an incredible opportunity in a very dynamic part of the Tampa Bay region.''

"The process is just getting started, and it has a long way to go,'' he said Friday evening.

Hamilton learned of the job opening weeks ago through the Mercer Group, the private company hired by the Sarasota County Commission to advertise and cull through applicants for the job. Jim Ley, Sarasota County's former administrator, offered his resignation in May in the midst of a procurement scandal.

A focus group seeking public input regarding qualities Sarasota residents want in their next administrator determined recently that they want a "superhero" with "people skills,'' according to published reports.

Hernando County commissioners learned of Hamilton's application late Friday when he called them to tell them the news. He said they were understanding and encouraging.

"I've thought about this long and hard,'' Hamilton said. He said he and his wife, Linda, have been discussing the idea, but he didn't make the decision until Friday.

"We love the Tampa Bay region, and this could be another new opportunity within Tampa Bay,'' said Hamilton, who came to Hernando County in March 2008.

"Sarasota is a very wealthy county. It has tremendous potential to grow in a number of key areas, including biomedical technology and innovative business development,'' he said. "It also has a legacy of foundations and nonprofit organizations, and that is of interest to my wife in her professional career.''

Hamilton said he and his wife have frequently visited the area, and "it's an absolutely beautiful part of Florida. … Sarasota County is a standout among communities in Florida. It is a larger organization and a dynamic organization.''

The move comes at a time of upheaval in Hernando County government. Two key members of Hamilton's leadership team left this week — environmental services director Joe Stapf, who took a job in his hometown in Minnesota, and community development director Jean Rags, who quit to care for her ailing mother.

He also weathered his own procurement controversy earlier this year, when he was chided by the county's auditor for violating purchasing practices in the hiring of a construction manager for the Hernando Beach Channel dredge.

When asked if the departures and controversies in Hernando played into his decision to apply elsewhere, Hamilton said, "Timing is always a difficult matter. That's one of the reasons I waited until today as I considered all of the different facts.

"At the end of the day, it's an incredible challenge (in Sarasota), and I have offered my name for consideration.''

Hernando Commissioner John Druzbick said Friday evening he was concerned about Hamilton's application and will meet with him Monday to discuss the matter.

"It's disappointing that he'd want to apply for another position with all the work we have to do here in Hernando County,'' Druzbick said.

"I believe we may have to start looking for another county administrator.''

Hernando commission Chairman Jim Adkins said he didn't have an issue with Hamilton applying for the job.

"I guess it's all right,'' he said. "I want to wish him well.''

Sarasota commissioners are scheduled to get Mercer's top 15 candidates to consider on Nov. 2. On Nov. 8, the commission will pick a short list of approximately five applicants. Interviews will follow, with a final selection expected Nov. 15, according to Sarasota County spokeswoman Crystal Pruitt.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

Hernando County Administrator David Hamilton applies for job in Sarasota County 10/21/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 21, 2011 8:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  2. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  3. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  4. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  5. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]